LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces is expected to experience temperatures over 100 degrees this week as subtropical high pressure builds and moves north into New Mexico.
June is typically the hottest month of the year in the Las Cruces area, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Eleanor Dhuyvetter. The city’s first 100-degree day was May 16, as measured at the Las Cruces International Airport. On May 28, a temperature of 102 degrees was reported at New Mexico State University. This is several weeks earlier than 2021 when the first 100-degree day was June 10 in Las Cruces.
Potential heat advisories are in the forecast this week with Thursday being the only respite. Dhuyvetter explained that subtropical high pressure is usually in Mexico, but it is building north this week bringing increased temperatures to west Texas, central Texas and New Mexico.
“The center (of the system) is then over New Mexico towards the end of the week. So, we’re going to definitely get warm this week, but with the bullseye kind of being over New Mexico towards the end of the week, we’re looking at … potential heat advisory numbers going into the weekend,” she said.
Tuesday is expected to be about 103 degrees, Wednesday around 104 or 105, Friday around 103 or 104 and Saturday around 105. The NWS is anticipating Sunday to be one of the hottest days of the forecast period at about 106 degrees.
“Light winds, hot, hot temperatures — it’s definitely a typical June for this area,” Dhuyvetter said.
Some moisture will push into the area overnight Wednesday, cooling temperatures by a few degrees for Thursday. But heat will still be around 100 and 101 degrees.
While this week won’t be the first triple digit highs the area experiences, Dhuyvetter said it may feel hotter because the heat is staying for an extended period of time. Overnight temperatures will also be warmer, particularly in urban areas.
When will it rain?
Dhuyvetter said the hot temperatures this week are an indication that monsoon season is on its way to New Mexico, but there is still a ways to go before we start seeing summer precipitation. She explained that experts look for sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and a wind reversal for the North American monsoon season to officially commence. While sea surface temperatures are favourable, winds have not moved far enough north.
“That high, it’s building, so it’s coming north and that’s why we’re getting so hot,” she said. “For the monsoon season to start and for the moisture to kind of move in, we need the high to move even more north and then it kind of moves around and does its dance around kind of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, southern California and ( New Mexico).”
She said the Las Cruces area typically doesn’t see true monsoon weather until early to mid-July.
How to combat the heat
With dangerously high temperatures expected, people are asked to stay hydrated, remain indoors when possible and be cautious. The New Mexico Department of Health released a list of symptoms to look out for in connection to heat-related illnesses, which can become serious quickly.
Here is what to look for:
Heat cramps are muscle pain or spasms accompanied by heavy sweating, especially during intense exercise.
- What to do: Stop any physical activity and get to a cool place. Drink water or a sports drink and wait for the cramps to go away before starting activity again. Get medical help right away if the cramps last longer than an hour, if you are on a low-sodium diet, or if you have heart problems.
Heat exhaustion appears with heavy sweating, cold, clammy skin, a fast, weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headache and fainting.
- What to do: Move to a cool place, loose clothing, cool down with damp cloths or take a cool bath and sip water. If you are throwing up, if symptoms last longer than an hour or worsen, get medical help right away.
Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness and happens when the body loses its ability to sweat. Body temperature will climb (103 degrees or higher), skin will be hot, red and dry or damp. Pulse will be fast and strong and can be accompanied by a headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion and passing out. It is important to recognize heat stroke in others, as they may not realize the danger that they are in because of confusion.
- What to do: heat stroke is a medical emergency, so call 911 right away. Try to lower the person’s body temperature with cool wet cloths or a cool bath. Do not give them anything to drink.
New Mexicans are also encouraged to check on neighbors, particularly elderly neighbors, who can be more prone to heat-related illnesses. No one, including children and pets, should be left in a parked car, even for just a few minutes. People can find more information about heat-related illness online at https://nmtracking.doh.nm.gov/health/climate/HeatIllness.html.
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Leah Romero is the trending reporter at the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah on Twitter.